Vice President Mike Pence "welcomes the efforts" of the many anti-democracy senators who have publicly expressed their willingness to commit sedition and advocate the overthrow of the incoming government of the United States.
On Wednesday, January 6. Pence will oversee the formal certification of the election results by the House and Senate. Numerous Republicans have vowed to take steps to have the electoral votes in some states disqualified because of "fraud", although no evidence of any fraud in any state has been presented in the two months since the election.
Donald Trump's "elite strike force" of conspiracy-minded, farting, virus-contracting lawyers have lost 61 of 62 cases in court (the one win was having the election commission move the early voting postmark deadline from 3 days to 6 days (BFD)), mainly because they have presented zero evidence of the thing they cannot stop alleging. In fact, when actually in court, before a judge who is not keen on perjury, Trump's lawyers have consistently stated there was no election fraud at all.
This is mainly a grift in which Trump is fleecing tens of millions of dollars from his easily-duped cult members (most of which he will be able to personally pocket). Pence is going along with that charade, although Trump will make sure he doesn't benefit from it. What is not a charade is this blatant authoritarian attempt to do away with what remains of American democracy.
Though Pence's role is strictly ceremonial, lawyer Sidney Powell and other conspiracy-minded Trump allies are trying to convince the president that Pence has the power to overturn the election by rejecting some of Biden's electors, according to two senior administration officials with knowledge of the conversations
Trump has made plain his goal with the certification process: to overturn the results of an election he insists was "rigged," though he has produced no evidence to support that claim. . . .
Pence and others have explained to Trump that the vice president does not have the power to take substantive action on Wednesday, such as moving to invalidate the results . . .
Trump has been in a rancid state since his November loss to Biden. Obsessed with conspiracy theories fed to him by Powell, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and other allies, he has aired grievances at will on Twitter and been easily provoked to lash out at aides.
"All of us are just trying to stay off the radar," one senior administration official said. "You have a conversation with him and, the next thing you know, you're pulled into, 'Hey, Sidney Powell told me yadda, yadda, yadda,' or, 'Rudy said blah, blah, blah.' There's no upside to being in his orbit right now."
Luke Broadwater, New York Times, January 2, 2021:
Vice President Mike Pence signaled support on Saturday for a futile Republican bid to overturn the election in Congress next week, after 11 Republican senators and senators-elect said that they would vote to reject President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s victory when the House and Senate meet to formally certify it.
The announcement by the senators — and Mr. Pence's move to endorse it — reflected a groundswell among Republicans to defy the unambiguous results of the election and indulge President Trump's attempts to remain in power with false claims of voting fraud.
Every state in the country has certified the election results after verifying their accuracy, many following postelection audits or hand counts. Judges across the country, and a Supreme Court with a conservative majority, have rejected nearly 60 attempts by Mr. Trump and his allies to challenge the results.
And neither Mr. Pence nor any of the senators who said they would vote to invalidate the election has made a specific allegation of fraud, instead offering vague suggestions that some wrongdoing might have occurred and asserting that many of their supporters believe that it has.
The senators' opposition to certifying Mr. Biden's election will not change the outcome. But it guarantees that what would normally be a perfunctory session on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to ratify the results of the presidential election will instead become a partisan brawl, in which Republicans amplify specious claims of widespread election rigging that have been debunked and dismissed for weeks even as Mr. Trump has stoked them. . . .
[This poses] a political dilemma for Republicans, forcing them to choose between accepting the results of a democratic election — even if it means angering supporters who dislike the outcome and could punish them at the polls — and joining their colleagues in displaying unflinching loyalty to Mr. Trump, who has demanded in increasingly angry fashion that they back his bid to cling to the presidency. . . .
[O]n Saturday evening, Marc Short, his chief of staff, issued a statement saying that Mr. Pence "shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election."
The vice president, the statement continued, "welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on Jan. 6th."
In a joint statement on Saturday, the Senate Republicans — including seven senators and four who are to be sworn in on Sunday — called for a 10-day audit of election returns in "disputed states," and said they would vote to reject the electors from those states until one was completed. They did not elaborate on which states.
The group is led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and includes Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Braun of Indiana, and Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.
Together with Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who announced this week that he would object to Congress's certification of the election results, they bring to nearly one-quarter the proportion of Senate Republicans who have broken with their leaders to join the effort to invalidate Mr. Biden's victory. In the House, where a band of conservatives has been plotting the last-ditch election objection for weeks, more than half of Republicans joined a failed lawsuit seeking to overturn the will of the voters, and more are expected to support the effort to challenge the results in Congress next week.
Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, has said he will object to certifying the results, and with Mr. Hawley's support, that challenge would hold weight, prompting senators and representatives to retreat to their chambers on opposite sides of the Capitol for a two-hour debate and then a vote on whether to disqualify a state's votes. Both the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate would have to agree to toss out a state's electoral votes — something that has not happened since the 19th century and is not expected to this time.
In their statement, the Republicans cited poll results showing most members of their party believe the election was "rigged," an assertion that Mr. Trump has made for months, and which has been repeated in the right-wing news media and by many Republican members of Congress. . . .
"These baseless claims have already been examined and dismissed by Trump's own attorney general, dozens of courts and election officials from both parties," said Mike Gwin, a spokesman for Mr. Biden's campaign. . . .
Mr. Trump continues to perpetuate the myth of widespread voter fraud, [and] a growing number of Republicans in Congress have been eager to challenge the results, either out of devotion to the president or out of fear of enraging the base of their party that still reveres him even in defeat.
That is the case even though the vast majority of them just won elections in the very same balloting they are now claiming was fraudulently administered. . . .
While Broadwater writes that the expected actions have no chance of succeeding, that is truly beside the point. He does state numerous times that these claims of fraud are without merit and have been repeatedly debunked, although "specious" is a pretty weak word to use. However, he goes out of his way to present the Republicans' dilemma of siding with Democracy or Trump without noting what these House and Senate members are doing is sedition, a clearly-defined crime that carries the possibility of 20 years in prison.
And it's only after writing roughly 80% of his article (1,420 of 1,804 words), and in his 30th paragraph (out of 37), does Mr. Broadwater give the long history of Trump acting as The Boy Who Cried 'It Was Rigged' whenever he lost anything and how he has been lying with every breath since November 3 about the results.
For years, Mr. Trump has railed against contests in which he lost, disliked the outcome or feared he might be defeated. He objected to the results of the Emmys, falsely claimed President Barack Obama did not win the popular vote, asserted that Mr. Cruz "stole" a primary victory from him in Iowa in 2016 and predicted that the election in which he defeated the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would be "rigged." In the months leading up to November's election, he also warned that he would be cheated out of a victory, and refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
As Mr. Biden racked up victories in November, Mr. Trump indulged in increasingly outlandish fictions, spreading disinformation about the election's results and encouraging his followers to challenge the vote at every step. In recent weeks, as his legal defeats have stacked up, the president has become more vitriolic in his condemnations of Republicans who fail to support his false claims of having been the true victor in the election, and has lavished praise on those who parrot his accusations. . . .
That no-nonsense perspective would have offered a fuller context if placed far earlier in the article.
Inching ever closer to just refusing to leave on 1/20... 🤨 https://t.co/moNonDMzif— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 3, 2021
Peter Navarro is supposed to be an economic adviser but has no economics education. As usual, none of what he said is accurate.— Monty 🇺🇸Hamilton's Battery🇺🇸 Boa (@MontyBoa99) January 3, 2021
That's what usually happens when you stray out of your lane, through the guardrails and off the bridge, crash onto a barge, and get towed offshore. pic.twitter.com/RlkRxpPdTS
If the inauguration isn't held on the scheduled date, per the Constitution, isn't the Speaker of the House the president?— JuneBug (@JMarieT03) January 3, 2021
LMAO has any Republican actually read the Constitution? January 20th is the date set in stone. If we have no certified President or VP, then President Pelosi it is!— Shane 1️⃣7️⃣Days 🚫🍊🤡 (@egheitasean) January 3, 2021
Peter Navarro is lying on both points. Pence has no authority to do anything other than open an envelope and hand the contents to congressional clerks who add the totals of electoral votes. Inauguration Day January 20 is in the constitution. It can’t be changed. https://t.co/MbOQ346J6X— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) January 3, 2021
Today's statement by Senate Republicans, explaining why they'll vote to block the election results, doesn't cite proof of fraud. It cites public "distrust."— Will Saletan (@saletan) January 2, 2021
But Republicans created that distrust by spreading lies. Their attack on the election is circular. https://t.co/xIPf5FjUaf
We’re now at well over 100 House members and a dozen Senators ready to stand up for election integrity and object to certification.— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) January 3, 2021
It’s time to fight back.
At this point I'm kind of amazed that the MAGA people are still stopping at red traffic lights and shit.— Michael Bérubé (@MichaelBerube1) January 2, 2021
Who is out there fighting for the rights of the 29 million who voted for George McGovern in 1972 to be finally heard?— Will Bunch Sign Up For My Newsletter (@Will_Bunch) January 2, 2021